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Pastoral-to-program size change is frequently described as the most challenging of growth transitions for congregations. Now Alban senior consultant Alice Mann, author of The In-Between Church: Navigating Size Transitions in Congregations, addresses the difficulties of that transition in this resource designed specifically for a congregational learning team. Conceptualized and developed by Mann for an Alban on-line seminar program test event conducted with 12 congregations in transition, her newest book features a five-step process enabling the learning team to engage a wider circle of congregational leaders and members in study, discernment, and planning. Never-before published resources include discussion of a major new concept—passive barriers to growth—plus Mann's "System Change Index" tool to help congregations measure their progress from pastoral-size to program-size ways of operating. From preparing the congregation's board and members, selecting the person to guide the learning process, and recruiting the learning team, to creating and celebrating a plan for congregational learning and action, Mann provides all the resources a congregation needs to address this significant size transition period.
"In this sequal to Entertaining angels: hospitality programs for the caring church, Geitz explores this missing ingredient in Christian hospitality, reminding us that in a multi-faith world where Christians wish to honor the validity of other religious paths, we may hesitate to talk about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. She describes the nuts and bolts of outreach and newcomer ministry in a pluralistic society."--Back cover.
Beginning Ministry Together is about the transition period between the announcement that one pastor is leaving and the time when another pastor is well settled. The message brought by Roy Oswald and colleagues Jim and Ann Heath is that this is not an impossible time to be survived only with a lot of expert help. Rather, even though the task is complex, committed congregational leaders can handle it—with the help of people who have been on this journey before. Oswald describes how clergy and congregations can better end and begin pastorates. He shows them how to say good-bye and discern their needs for the future—how to use the open space between pastorates for evaluation and preparation for a new day.
Congregations that seek growth are often frustrated at hitting a plateau-caught in a transition zone between sizes. The Alban Institute has long been recognized as a leader in size transition research and learning, and this anthology offers an in-depth collection of resources, through new articles developed for the book as well as previously published and highly regarded pieces that inform and provoke.
The book provides guidance and coaching for pastors both new and more experienced in the ministry as they seek to enter and lead a new congregation in an harmonious and effective fashion.
Nothing on earth lives forever—not even congregations. Alban Institute senior consultant Alice Mann explains how the natural life cycle of a congregation, as well as other internal and external factors, can produce a congregation that is in real trouble. She then offers hope for congregations that want to change. Practical options for congregations, leadership challenges for laity and clergy, and ways to work with denominations are detailed and engaging discussion questions provide a basis for congregational planning

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